Kids Loved Jesus. Do They Love You?
Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After laying His hands on them, He departed from there. (Matthew 19:13-15)
One of the snapshots we have into Jesus’ normal life. He’s an adult by now. Kind of a “rock star” . . . people all around, wanting his attention. Some well-meaning parents cut their kids loose and they swarm Him. They’re loud, they’re pushing over each other, they want to get close . . . like real close to Jesus. Totally normal for kids.
They read Jesus’ face, they look at His eyes and His body language and they sense acceptance. “Welcome!” “Bring it.” “Come on!”
What signals do you send to kids? Does the look on your face say, “Oh yeah!” or “Oh no!” Kids sense your response to them instantly and instinctively and you can’t fake it. What’s down in your well comes up in your bucket. If your first thoughts are like the disciples, it’s like “I’m busy.” “You’re loud.” “You’re germ-laden.” “You’re going to take up a bunch of my time.” “I don’t know what to do with you or what to say without sounding stupid.”
When Jesus saw the disciples’ reaction to these kids, He pushed the “pause” button. He said, “Let the children alone. Do not hinder them from coming to Me.” Paraphrase: “I love them just as they are.” Innocent, raw and real-time. There was no processing, calculating, qualifying, or parsing . . . no hesitance at all. That’s what flows from a pure, unhurried heart.
Jesus’ crowning move was touch. “He laid hands on them.” In that culture, children were often blessed by important people in their families and communities. Here’s an example of this kind of Hebrew blessing . . .
“May the Lord protect and defend you. May He always shield you from shame. May you come to be in Israel a shining name . . . Favor them, Oh Lord, with happiness and peace. Oh, hear our Sabbath prayer. Amen.” (Lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick)
Imagine the impact this kind of courageous prayer and vision-casting can have on kids. God working through us to shape future generations.
Maybe our reaction to little kids informs us of the status of our hearts. When you catch yourself hurried, impatient, or irritated, see that as a “poke” from the Holy Spirit to check up . . . to slow down and figure out how to bless that child in some way. Like Jesus did.
Prayer – ‘Blessing a child seems cheesy and weird in our day, but something in my Spirit says there’s something important for us here. Please give us the sensitivity to hear your prompting and the courage to act wisely in response. In your beautiful name. Amen.